Friday, 19 May 2017


  I have watched several operations where stent has been used to repair or stents have been repaired. They are fascinating things both in the flesh and under x-ray. They are goretex and plated steel wire with tiny gold markers and seem otherworldly. They are also hand stitched and often made to order so I decided that I would try making one. Mine of course would not be surgical but an embroiderers version so I set about making a pattern for a tiny bifurcated construction.

    I used silk organza and hand stitched the french seams to make the two asymmetric tubes. Then the enamelled brass wire was bent into shape ready for stitching onto the trousers! I had to make a rig to put this onto as it had to be stitched in the round and the tubes were narrower than my fingers.I ended up using some of my jewellery making equipment (clamp, ring gauge and doming punch) to get a two legged form to put it onto.
    Using red silk it was simply a matter of whip stitching the wire into place.I say simply but in fact it was fraught with problems as the tubes shifted, the wires bent and the rig kept moving. Then there was the matter of the embroiderers training getting in the way ! I am so used to hiding all the threads and trying to make stitches invisible, especially whip stitch, that I kept trying to run the threads inside the tubes i.e. the hard way, when in fact the stitches must run on the outside of the work with a stent. And of course I use straight needles not curved.
   It was a mass of technical challenges but in the end it felt right in my hand, like a little bird, robust and yet fragile.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


The one thing that still strikes me during surgery is the colour palette. I found myself pondering over how to represent this and so have begun with this piece of embroidery. It has a linear design to show the flow of activity, moving from sky blues and aquamarine into the reds and pinks that I have mentioned before.

For the central 'section' I have used more raised stitches both as reference to the inside of the body and to the difficulties of sewing in small spaces.Minimal access embroidery.

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